Aug 2, 2015

In overnight operation, Seattle woman rescued from South Fork area ledge

A Washington woman hiking in the South Fork area had to be rescued by members of the Park County Search and Rescue Unit late Saturday night/early Sunday morning after she became stuck on a ledge.

Jennifer R. Henneman, 31, of Seattle, had been hiking alone off of the Bobcat-Houlihan Trail, the Park County Sheriff's Office said in a Sunday news release. About 1.75 miles northwest of the trail head, Hennerman ventured onto a ledge approximately 2,000 feet above the Houlihan Creek drainage and got “rimrocked” that is, unable to climb up or down due to the steepness of the terrain.

The Bobcat-Houliahn Trailhead. Photo courtesy BLM
Henneman, who'd been hiking alone, had cell service and was able to call 911 at 7:40 p.m., the sheriff's office said.

Because of her location, the Search and Rescue Unit had to plot a route around the creek drainage that would allow them to parallel the ridge.

Search and Rescue members spotted Henneman at midnight, but at that point, they were still a half-a-mile away and across a steep ravine. To reach the woman, the rescuers ultimately had to hike up from the east side of the ravine and then move west, the sheriff's office said.

They finally reached Henneman at 1:15 a.m. and brought her back to the trail head at 4 a.m. She was uninjured.

Park County Search and Rescue Unit head Mart Knapp said that, with the exception of hiking alone, Henneman did everything right.

“When she realized there was no safe way for her to get herself down, she called for assistance and stayed where she was until help arrived,” Knapp said in a statement released by the sheriff's office.  “It’s a good lesson for everyone who ventures into the backcountry.”

The Bobcat-Houlihan Trail runs north from the TE Ranch, at the end of County Road 6EH. The road runs north from the South Fork Road at milepost 28.

It was a hectic day for Park County's Search and Rescue team. Just 40 minutes before Henneman's call, the team had been summoned to the Crandall area to search for a 13-year-old boy who'd gone into the water while floating the Clark's Fork of the Yellowstone River. Search and rescue team members spent the night at that scene as well, ultimately finding the boy's body on Sunday morning.

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